Andropause: How to Deal with Male Menopause

Men go through andropause or “male menopause.”  Men suffer from changing hormones, just like women.  Symptoms of male menopause are similar to women, such as irritability, fatigue, weakness, depression and sexual problems.

The male hormone, testosterone, gradually declines as men age.  Testosterone production slowly declines for men starting at 30 years old.  Subtle changes occur as early as ages 40-45.  It gets more dramatic after age 70.  Most men might not notice this change, but it affects the quality of life through physical, mental, emotional and social effects.

Men with low levels of testomale menopausesterone experience agitation, mood swings, low energy, fatigue, libido loss, erectile dysfunction (ED), loss of confidence, sleep problems, depression, weight gain and difficulties building muscle.  Low testosterone might put men at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Hormonal declines aren’t limited to testosterone.  Men might experience drop-offs in adrenal and thyroid hormones.  Men over 35 years of age should see a doctor to test their hormone levels even if they do not experience significant symptoms.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Male Menopause

To boost testosterone production, “testosterone replacement therapy” might help to relieve symptoms.  This therapy could boost libido, alleviate depression and fight fatigue.  Hormone replacement therapy may pose risks to prostate cancer patients.  Please consult with your doctor about its risks and benefits before you make the decisions to address male menopause.

Lifestyle modification is the best way to maintain your testosterone level.  Eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin D and zinc supplement can support healthy levels of testosterone. Regular exercise, especially weight training to increase muscle mass, is important for maintaining normal testosterone levels.  Getting enough sleep and managing stress are both important for balancing hormones.

5 Tips to Go Alkaline and Find Amazing Results

A healthy blood pH is between 7 and 7.5, and what does this mean?

If we maintain our body in its normal natural state, which means slightly alkaline, it will be more protected from diseases. It will not be a favourable environment for any fungus, virus or bacteria. In the other hand, if the body gets more acidic than it should, there will be more risk of diseases. This is why we need to maintain our body alkaline through eating habits and lifestyle. Find more about The ultimate balanced diet – Going Alkaline.

We are the only ones responsible for maintaining an alkaline pH in our bodies. The environment, the food industry, stress, smoke, excess of exercise, bad eating habits, alcohol, etc., keep making our body get acidic. We have to reverse this, and the best way is with food that alkalinises our bodies.

Here are 5 easy ways to alkalinise our bodies, without needing to change all our habits

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1. Compensate with more alkalinising foods. These are the ones that are rich in minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. In this group of foods, we have the green leafy vegetables, the cucumber, the cruciferous vegetables, celery, lemon, lime, berries, goji berries, avocado, garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric. Cooking Alkaline food is actually easy, quick and delicious. Find out 3 Easy Alkaline Meals You Can Cook in Under 15 Minutes!

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2. Avoid acidic food:  processed food (cookies, biscuits, bread, pastry, pasta, etc), sweets and sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, sodas, fried food, flour, dairy, and meats.

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3. Detoxify your body from toxins, heavy metals and bad substances in general, since they all make our body acidic and not clean properly. For this, try making a detox day once a month or a detox week once every few months. Make sure to include all the alkalinising foods or juices, when you are in this cleansing process.
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4. Maintaining your body active, which will keep your metabolism active, will eliminate toxins and will make your body work like it should. Don’t over train, since this will cause stress, and this will cause an acidic environment for diseases to come.

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5. Start your day with lemon/lime water. Now here is the easiest way to start your day alkalinising your body. Just squeeze a lemon/lime on warm water and drink this first thing in the morning. People believe that this makes them lose weight, gain energy and even lose fat! The real benefit (and possibly the reason why of those believed benefits) is that lemon/lime water helps to alkalinise your body first thing in the morning.

As soon as you start with this, you will feel the difference and you will adopt them as habits in your life! Get started now!

5 Local Herbal Drinks to Boost Your Health

If you wander along Thai street or visit local bistros, you may stumble upon several colourful drinks that are made from many kinds of highly beneficial herbs harvested from local plantations. Apart from being wonderfully tasty, they are also amazingly healthy!

 

Roselle

The perfect blend between sweet and sour gives this drink a refreshing feeling when served cold. Roselle is a famous drink in Thailand for centuries with its attractive red colour, the great taste and more importantly, the nutritional benefits. Roselle is well-known for lower fat in vain, lower blood pressure and heal cough, protect flu with the rich amount of Anthocyanin and vitamin C.

health.krapook.com

Photo: health.kapook.com

 

 

Butterfly Pea

Butterfly Pea comes with a charming and mysterious violet colour and offers a list of health benefit including antioxidant properties, boost immunity, heal beriberi symptoms, decrease the risk of cancer, lower sugar level in blood as well as being a great food for the brain. Some recipe also adds some lime juice to create even more amazing colour, a touch of sourness and vitamin C.

www.thaikasetsart.com

Photo: thaikasetsart.com

 

 

Lemon Grass juice

This creative and refreshing drink from spice is impressively carminative and helps the digestion system. Lemon grass is rich in vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus that strengthen bones and teeth. It also helps flush out contaminated toxin from the body and lower blood pressure.

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Photo: manager.com

 

Indian gooseberry Juice

Very well known for containing a high amount of vitamin C and packed with health value. The sour and mild sweet juice effectively heals cold, enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning while also helps support the heart, strengthens the lungs, enhances fertility, boosts the urinary system, gives healthier skin, promotes healthier hair, cool down body temperature, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens eyes, improves muscle tone and, acts as an antioxidant.

Pitcher of Iced Tea with a Glass of Ice Tea

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Gotu kola water

A beneficial drink that has been used to boost health since the ancient time. The greenish sweet juice offers a very high amount of vitamin A, calcium and vitamin B1. Gotu kola helps treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis, lower blood pressure, flow blood circulation, heals stomach ulcer, diarrhea and diabetes. It also effectively helps treat bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection such as urinary tract infection, cholera, syphilis, and cold while it works amazingly with mental problems such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease as it improves memory and intelligence.

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Oil Pulling Uncovered – Discover what really works and why

If you enjoy reading up on the latest ways to cleanse your body and reduce inflammation, it’s more than likely you’ve come across oil pulling.

With its Ayurvedic origins, the pulling technique has caused mixed reactions in the wellness field. As it continues to gain traction however, people are recognizing its powerful benefits.

 

Despite oil pulling gaining more credibility, there’s still a lack of research proving its efficacy. You like many others may be wondering: Is it just a fad or are there reasons to believe this method is effective?

 

Busting the myths of oil pulling

Inflammation

Minimal studies on oil pulling and its relation to inflammation have been carried out. When they have been, sesame oil is often used on small test groups producing unreliable results.

Because of this there’s skepticism around just how effective this ancient method actually is.  Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and physician has spent years demystifying the negative associations of coconut oil. As a result hes learnt how it can be used to boost health orally and in the body.

A large proportion, if not all diseases start in the mouth. This daunting but enlightening fact enables us to put a stop to where all chronic diseases begin.  In fact Dr Fife stresses that ‘Simply improving the health of your teeth and gums can cure many chronic problems’. However we need to do more than just brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.

 

Top Myth of oil pulling: Oil pulling is a detox method

that literally ‘pulls’ toxins from the body

This sounds all well and good but in reality, gargling won’t simply detoxify your body.

Dr Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist and lecturer at UCLA’s dental school refers to our ‘mouth as magic, not the method of oil pulling’. As it’s the gateway to our health, oil pulling remains an effective technique to give it a really good clean. Your body then gets a chance to focus on healing rather than warding off the harmful bacteria.

Certified Thanyapura nutritionist Marcela Soto Prats outlines the process succinctly and how oil pulling plays an important role in keeping our health on track. She says that ‘Bacteria and germs in our mouth are continuously producing toxins that can cause inflammation and infection if not controlled. The toxins can be passed to other parts of the body through the digestive tract or the bloodstream causing riskier illnesses’.

‘So if oil pulling is performed with the proper oil and the proper method, it is an effective to kill all these harmful germs and bacteria in your mouth. In this way, it aids the detox process and prevents toxins from entering your body. It’s not as if the oil pulling does the detox itself, instead it reduces the risk of more toxins and inflammation in your body, especially in your digestive tract’.

How to begin

The mechanism of swishing acts very much as a powerful cleaning movement. As the bacteria in the mouth forms a layer on the teeth and becomes stuck, the oil’s sticky texture acts like glue. It sticks to the harmful bacteria so when you spit it out; the nasty stuff gets chucked out too.

Mornings don’t have to be hard. Get them off to a great start by implementing the following routine:  

Reduce inflammation

 

  • After waking up, drink a glass of water to get your saliva flowing
  • Pour out one teaspoon of organic, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
  • When you are swishing, allow the oil to penetrate your teeth. Keep swishing found 15-20 minutes
  • After the clean, the oil should become creamier and change colour
  • When you’re finished make sure you spit the remaining oil into the bin and not the sink
  • Wash your mouth thoroughly to ensure all remaining bacteria is gone

Quick tip: To get used to the sensation, start by doing just 5 minutes per day and slowly increase until you can do 15 – 20. So you don’t waste precious time in the morning you can gargle whilst showering, preparing breakfast or getting ready for work!

 

Why coconut oil?

Coconut oil pulling

Coconut oil has gained popularity due to its powerful antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. It’s not only become a potent remedy for a leaky gut but as one of the most diverse oils on the market, it’s become the go-to choice for healthy living. Coconut oil can be used in place of mouthwash as vitamin E content in the laruic acid helps kill viruses and bacteria. Additionally, its antioxidant properties makes it an effective teeth whitener that also strengthens your gums, teeth and sinuses.

Thanyapura nutritionist Marcela recommends using ‘cold pressed oils as they have been proven to have antibacterial properties. It’s important oil is used as it’s texture cleans your mouth more effectively than water, mouthwash or toothpaste’.

The benefits: Why you should start oil pulling today

  • Helps battle tooth decay and bad breath
  • Prevents gums from bleeding
  • Prevents risky diseases such as heart disease
  • Lessens inflammation and toxins in the body
  • Acts as an organic teeth whitener
  • Eases a dry throat
  • Wards off cavities
  • Strengthens gums and jaw

These are just a few of the benefits you will experience after implementing oil pulling into your daily routine.

Thanyapura’s chefs and diners have felt the benefits of cooking with organic cold-pressed coconut oil themselves. Our nutritionists and wellness experts therefore seek to implement coconut oil pulling into our client’s therapy to give them holistic and proven way of maintaining optimal health.

Coming soon to a Thayapura near you…. (as long as you’re in Phuket)

If you have experience with oil pulling, share your stories and leave a comment below!

12 Effective Ways to boost your Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System is like the unsung hero of our bodies. Responsible for removing the waste from every cell as well as targeting and destroying bacteria, viruses, cancer or damaged cells.

The lymphatic system holds the key to our health. Which is why it is important to move the lymphatic fluid around through any number of methods we will list below. When the fluid isn’t circulated through muscle contraction or lack of exercise, the result can be a weakened immune system as well as inflammation. Also if the lymphatic system is overwhelmed with excess toxins it can flood out to other tissue. This can be a real health hazard. So best we look at ways that we can fire up that Lymphatic System.

Rebounding

Lymphatic fluid flows through channels called vessels. One way to increase the flow and flush out metabolic waste faster is to jump up and down. Serious. Hop on a trampoline, skip some rope, jump around in place, whatever you enjoy doing so long as you are moving. A note, you should keep to vertical movement rather than horizontal. Though running and jogging are beneficial in their own right, the purpose of this exercise is to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Inversion Table

Another way to increase flow of the lymphatic system is by using an inversion table or hanging upside down. This is especially good for flow through your legs and lower body. By creating a different direction of gravity you are increasing the force of the metabolic waste so that it can free up and move out of your system more easily.

Massage

Massage is great for draining the lymphatic system. All that pressing down and massaging of the tissue will result in a release of pressure. Massage is not only great for relieving stress, but it is also great for ridding your body of cellular waste.

Herbs

I am sure by now you have heard of the healing power Echinacea holds. The reason is because it interacts so well with the lymphatic system. Echinacea is wonderful for reducing swelling of lymph nodes, which tends to happen when the body is fighting an infection. Other herbs great for cleansing the lymphatic system are; Astragulus, Cleavers, Goldenseal, Wild Indigo Root, Mullein, Tumeric, Ginger, Cinnamon, Coriander, black pepper, 

Raw Foods

When you give your body a break of processed foods, you give your lymphatic system a break. Allowing it to focus on other tasks like fighting cancer or ridding metabolic waste. The best foods to eat are generally the more alkaline or high in vitamin C which helps the lymphatic system to function. Foods like lemon and other citrus are great to add. Other foods that are great for giving your immune system a boost are berries, greens, chia seeds, hemp, flax, pumpkin seed sunflower seed,

Practice Yoga

General congestion of lymph nodes can be adjusted through the movement, twisting and inversion that yoga provides. Poses like downward dog, cobra, twisting chair, bow pose, bridge, triangle, and sun salutations are always a hit for boosting the lymphatic system

Infrared Sauna Therapy

We ingest chemicals through a number of ways. We breath them in, we eat them, drink them, and even if we are being healthy on all fronts we even absorb environmental toxins through our skin. Which is why it is good to sweat it out. Infrared Saunas have been around for over 20 years and have been highly recommended by doctors as a healthy way to clean up your internal system. As an added bonus you can burn up to 300 calories in 30 mins.

Dry Skin Brushing

This activity won’t take up much of your day, the benefits however will last a long time. Before or after you bath or shower, dry skin brushing is as simple as taking a brush and running it gently across your skin. This will not only remove dead skin, which helps the lymphatic system to sweat out toxins, but will reduce cellulite as well. Two birds, one stone.

Deep Breathing

By now we know the Lymphatic System works in many ways to process and expel toxins, bacteria and other villains of our health. Breathing is another way to pick up those chemicals and carry them outside of our bodies. The key to deep breathing is to take in air so much that you push your belly out. This is going to increase oxidation of the blood, it will push out your lungs which will massage your lymph nodes, and it will open up air ducts which will allow the lymphs to enter the blood stream. These deep breaths also activate the parasympathetic nervous system due to the relaxed sensation you get from the intake of air. For an added massage of the lymph nodes and blood stream, try giving your arms a stretch as you take in those deep breaths.

Hydrotherapy

Otherwise known as alternating between hot and cold water on the skin. The hot water will help you to relax and reduce stress, The cold will help to reduce inflammation and stimulate the lymphatic system to remove toxins.  Other benefits can include reduction in muscle tension and increased circulation. This is going to give an incredible boost to the immune system as well as metabolism. You might have to work yourself up to the cold water component of this mix, so try doing 5-10 second bursts until you get comfortable going for longer.

Drink Water

This is probably the most simple yet most important part of the process for boosting your lymphatic system. Much like the plumbing in your house carrying out waste, your lymphatic system works better with water to move it along. Dehydration is the most common cause of an under productive lymphatic system. A good way to make sure you are getting sufficient water intake is to drink half your weight in water daily measured by ounces. If you want to add a little alkaline oomph, you can squeeze some lemon in that first glass of water when you wake up. Just use a straw though to protect the enamel of your teeth.

Acupuncture

Accupuncture is wonderful for stimulating a number of bodily functions; from waking up the nerves to relieving pain. Many studies have shown that accupuncture can increase T-Lymph cells within the body. Generally acupuncture results in the waking up of bodily energy, a process that can send more metabolic waste to the lymph nodes to be processed. A truly great way to boost the detoxification process and stimulate the lymphatic system.

Sources:

  1. Rebounding: Good for the Lymph System https://www.wellbeingjournal.com/rebounding-good-for-the-lymph-system/

  2. Lymphatic System: Facts, Functions & Diseases http://www.livescience.com/26983-lymphatic-system.html
  3. Top 10 Natural Ways To Cleanse Your Lymphatic System http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/natural-ways-to-cleanse-your-lymphatic-system/

  4. Detox your Lymph: 10 Holistic Treatments For Your Lymphatic System http://thechalkboardmag.com/detox-your-lymph-10-holistic-treatments-for-lymphatic-system

How L-Carnitine helped me lose 100 pounds

L-Carnitine is the ultimate go to for weight loss and bodybuilding. How do I know this? I lost 100lbs and this was in my arsenal. Let me show you the many benefits of sucking this down after a meal or before crushing a set at the gym.

Let’s get some of the chemistry stuff out of the way.

L-carnitine is biosynthesized using the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. In certain cells, like eukaryotic cells, it is necessary for the transportation of fatty acids in that open space of the mitochondrial intermembrane to the processing plant where the breakdown occurs of lipids into energy.

In short, pinch an area of flab you want to get rid of. You can do this any number of ways; exercise and nutrition are great starting points. Want a healthy way to jack up the process? L-carnitine is going to round up the fatty acid in those cells and burn them up.

The first question you are likely going to ask is; is this bad for my heart like most thermogenics?

It is true that L-carnitine works like most thermogenics on the market. But one thing you can be assured of is that not only is it good for your heart health, it is essential. We are going to go into that in more detail below.

Ready for the super awesome side effects? Me too. Let’s roll.

L-Canitine for Heart healthHeart Health – I opted to list this one first because as I mentioned above, this is often the first concern I hear when I tell people this will give you a massive boost in energy and fat loss.

Those people have a right to be concerned too. Many of the supplements on the available market offer energy boosting, fat burning components with the side effect of maybe one day your heart explodes.

Don’t worry about that here. In fact, L-Carnitine is given to patients who have experienced a heart attack to prevent them from having another. This is one of the top supplements given to people with heart disease. You can confirm this through research but please do cross check references.

If I were to rely on that one Harvard medical study that gave saturated fats a pass while making a villain out of L-Carnitine I probably still wouldn’t be able to look at my feet past my massive belly and likely would have suffered a major heart attack by now.

There are thousands of studies dating from the present back to early 1900’s all conflicting with this one that came out. I get my heart checked on a regular basis and every doctor tells me I have a ticker of a teenager. This after I suck down a bottle of L-Carnitine every week.

On a side note, a lot of sources that originally circulated this rubbish have since had it remove.

L-Canitine for Fat LossFat Loss – Here we are, full circle.

Back to the inch you pinched.

That old fat loss we all seek. Well here is the sauce to speed up the loss. L-Carnitine is mean if you are looking to get lean. See what I am doing here. It’s all true, though. We know the difference between healthy fats and bad fats is the length of that chain in fatty acids.

This is why triglycerides are so bad for you. Well, L-carnitine is going to oxidize these bad boys into production for energy. This isn’t giving you a pass for chowing down Doritos while taking shots of L-Carnitine. But if you must, and I have, it is a way to curve the downside.

One of the hardest types of fat to attack is visceral fat, this is behind the abdominal wall. You can do ab crunches and core exercise until you are blue in the face but will address little of the fat surrounding your organs. This is the most lethal fat, of all, because this is what will lead to organ failure.

A shot of L-carnitine and you and well on your way to ridding your body of this troublesome visceral fat. This will help reduce the risk of heart disease, liver failure, and other fat related problems.

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Reshape & Recharge Retreat – Thanyapura’s Signature Lifestyle Weight Loss Boot Camp
Next Camp Starting Soon – A Truly All-Inclusive Program, 1 or 2 Weeks, Run by Thanyapura’s Medical Professionals on the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand.  L-Carnitine Included!

READ MORE

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L-Canitine for Muscle GainMuscle Gain – To start the FDA Food and Drug Administration approved L-Carnitine for dialysis patients to use to reduce muscle loss. Are you ready for some science?

When you are kicking butt in the gym, your need for fatty acids and glucose increase. This is a no brainer. But did you know that L-Carnitine reduces respiratory quotient, which is the ratio of CO2 produced to O2 Consumed. What does that mean in laymen terms?

The lower the ratio the less your body needs to utilize glucose and goes right for the glucose. Which means it won’t be pulling it from your muscle mass. This is going to help with muscle decay.

Using the ol’ phrase; no pain, no gain, using L-Carnitine will give a boost to the performance in the gym. If we apply that to the logic of whatever challenges you changes you, then we can expect a rapid boost in athletic performance and gains just from applying this one tool. When we add in the fact of not only increased performance but reduced fatigue and increased recovery, L-Carnitine becomes the ace in the hole we always wanted in the gym.

Brain Function – Now we are going to get into my favorite topic, Nootropics. Yes, this wonder sauce called L-Canitine for Brain FunctionL-carnitine is great for the brain too. Here is a list of the many brain boosting benefits you can get with a shot of L-Carnitine.

  • Improvement of alertness and reduction of fatigue
  • Increase ATP, Mitochondrial Energy Production
  • Neuroprotective benefits
  • Improves Circulation and is great for addressing oxidative stress.

My recommendations for using L-Carnitine as a neurotrophic is to use Acetyl-L-Carnitine which is superior to Carnitine in passing the blood brain barrier.

We know that the brain is one big blob of fat and that is what makes it function. But having too much longer chain lipids floating around in the brain can slow down its function.

Taking L-Carnitine will help clear out those impeding lipids from reducing brain function. It will also help to rid the brain of toxins that will slow down the brain energy production.

We hear the word detox thrown around a lot. A lot of people are either coming off or going on a detox. But how many know what it is they are meant to detox their body from? For instance, removing heavy metals which can lead to a massive decline in cognitive health as it accumulates naturally in the brain through various environmental factors. I’ll tell you, L-Carnitine is great at sweeping up all these heavy metals and flushing them out of our system. In this activity alone you will notice and increased awareness and mental clarity.

L-Canitine for body defenseImmune System – It’s fair to say that when you are sick, your body feels drained. When the body is under attack by pathogens it requires large amounts of cellular energy.

L-Carnitine is going to give that cellular energy a boost. Keep in mind, though, that often when your body is fighting off an infection your L-Carnitine levels will be depleted. L-Carnitine also protects cells against oxidative stress and free radicals. L-Carnitine is so effective that it is often used in the treatment of patients with AIDS.

We have discussed previously that L-Carnitine is awesome for riding the body of Lipids (fats), which goes hand in hand with Lipids role in immunosuppression activity. Even at low doses L-Carnitine can increase the T-Cell count.

L-Canitine Slows down age progression

Slows the aging process – It’s inevitable that as we age our bodies begin to fail us. For some that reality can become an even greater nightmare when they can no longer recognize who they are, who they love, or how they got where they are. Alzheimer’s disease is horrible for anyone who has ever witnessed it. The good news is that a couple of shots of L-Carnitine over a course of six to twelve months can slow that progression down to a crawl. If you start a regiment of use years before onset you may never have to live that tragedy.

Sources:

  1. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/carnitine-lcarnitine
  2. L-Carnitine burns body fat, boosts recovery, reduces muscle soreness and protects the heart http://www.nutritionexpress.com/article+index/protein/showarticle.aspx?id=1487
  3. Carnitine http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/supplements/carnitine
  4. Antioxidant and antiradical activities of L-Carnitine http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320505009483

Heal a leaky gut in 4 easy steps

Millions worldwide are affected by Leaky Gut Syndrome but unfortunately, many are unaware of the symptoms and treatment. In this article, we will go into detail about how to heal a leaky gut.

Fixing a leaky gut sounds like patching just one problem. But in fact when you heal a leaky gut you reduce the chances of several other health problems occurring.

The tricky part is that it can show up differently from person to person. So diagnosing is not always as direct as one might hope.

Symptoms include:

  • Infertility
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Vitiligo
  • Narcolepsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Huntington’s
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Porphyria
  • Chronic diarrhea, IBS, constipation, gas or bloating
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Poor immune system
  • Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Celiac disease
  • Food allergies & intolerances
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Autism

Sounds like an excessive list but think of a leaky gut as the start of a domino effect to a world of problems. The stomach lining and bacteria culture are central to so many functions in the body. From the immune system to the central nervous system. It is so crucial in fact that the science community as named it the SECOND BRAIN.

Kind of hard to imagine that gurgling source in your belly as being the brain, but it is so true. In fact, there is a major nerve that runs from the stomach lining to the brain called the VEGUS NERVE. No, not vegas. That’s a whole other kit and caboodle.

The vegus nerve connects not only the brain but a multitude of other crucial organs. In very real terms if you set fire to the gut via poor eating habits, you set fire to the brain. Another way to look at this is that your gut health has a very real impact on your mental health.

If you have an inflamed gut you will thus have an inflamed brain. Let me explain how that flows.

leaky gut >> chronic low-grade inflammation >> inflammatory cytokines cross the blood brain barrier >> leaky brain barrier and increased immune response microglia cells >> Brain inflames, nerve conductance is reduced, and depression onsets >> brain communication to vegas nerve decreases >> decreasing blood flow to the intestines >> increased pathogenic yeasts and bacteria

And now we get an exasperated condition where the leaky gut only gets worse…

Imagine for a moment your gut was making you drunk. Not in a fun, let’s tie one off for the weekend kind of thing, but the next day when you are crawling through a bag of Cheetos thinking about your poor life choices drunk.

This is what can happen with the overgrowth of candida (yeast) we mentioned above.

hungover

The glucose in your system is meant to be turned into lactic acid to be used as water and energy. When you factor in a candida overgrowth, which is a byproduct of a leaky gut, that glucose goes through a fermentation process instead which converts it into acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde is what causes the hangover effect from alcohol. So when you have a leaky gut, you are having all the effects of a hangover without the fun of having been drunk.

Go a little further down that path and you can see metabolic waste being flushed into the brain rather than flushed out of you. As well as Sulphate (anti-inflammatory anti-depressant) being converted to Sulphites. When this happens it creates a ripple effect into chronic fatigue, depression, migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, hyperactivity, autism, Parkinson’s, motor neuron disease, Alzheimer’s, lupus erythematosus, systemic primary cirrhosis of the liver, and food and chemical sensitivity

Causes of a Leaky Gut.

  • Chronic Stress
  • Improper Nutrition
  • Too many Toxins
  • Not enough healthy Bacteria
  • Food allergies
  • incomplete chewing
  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut.

    Foods like Aspartame, canned foods, GMO’s, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Processed Foods, Sugar, Trans Fats. Start an elimination diet. You can’t expect to win all at once. It’s like that old saying if something doesn’t add up, start subtracting. This is where you should start. Sugar alone can cause a leaky gut, but it may not be the only irritant. You can start a food journal, cut out alcohol and sugars, take a look at any medications and ask yourself if they are doing more harm than good. A simple method is to consider this; if it has a label its a product and you better know what’s in it, if not its food.

  2. REPLACE with healing foods.

    One effective method is using the GAPS diet to correct the situation. So many of us rush to pills and replacement shakes because we are so rushed in life that we cannot be bothered with consuming whole foods. Stop it, just stop it. Your health matters more than anything else on your mind, and to keep healthy you have to make time to eat whole foods. Keep in mind that as your body heals you need to remove all that toxic build up so make sure you get lots of fiber to flush out those toxins.

  3. REPAIR with specific supplements.

    I suggest adding digestive enzymes as they will give your digestion system a jump start. This is going to help in a huge way for you to break down nutrients and give your body the fuel it needs to function properly. It’s one thing to eat the right things it’s another to be able to break it down properly to absorb them. I also recommend Glutamine which will repair all that damage to the stomach lining. This will heal that gut in such a powerful way.

  4. REBALANCE with probiotics.

    Now that you have a healthy got let’s regrow the population of bacteria that was lost initially. This is the good bacteria that will improve your metabolism, immune system and assist in the absorption of minerals and vitamins. You can do this by eating probiotic yogurt or supplements, or you can eat fermented foods.

Now that you have all that down, just work on one more thing as you go forward. Be mindful of the things you eat. Don’t eat something just because it pleases your palate. Eat mindfully, know what your body needs and meet that need.

SOURCES:

  1. Tight Junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16092447
  2. Breaking down the barriers; the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26528128
  3. The Gut Brain Axis http://empoweredsustenance.com/gut-brain-axis/
  4. The brain gut connection http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection
  5. Signs and symptoms of leaky gut http://draxe.com/7-signs-symptoms-you-have-leaky-gut/

 

5 reasons you should take magnesium today

Magnesium is the most important mineral in our body. It accounts for over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies. Unfortunately most are not aware if they are deficient because less than 1% of our bodily stores exist in the blood. The rest is found in our bones and cells. Which is why Magnesium is one of the most overlooked minerals essential to our health.

Magnesium can be found in dark, leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and legumes.

Often we look at Magnesium’s sister mineral Calcium, which we will go into more detail about how the two go hand in hand.

In this article, we are going to discuss a number of reasons why you should consider Magnesium to be essential to your health. Especially if you are an athlete or doing any kind of strength training because this increases your magnesium requirements extensively.

1: Anti-aging.

To explain how magnesium affects anti-aging we must first understand one key element and it is this – cells can divide only a limited number of times before replicative senescence (limitation of Mitosis) occurs [1].

 

Cell Division

Also, this happens with Meiosis, which is the cell division resulting in eggs and sperm.

The danger of replicative senescence lays within what can result when cells can no longer divide – Cardiovascular Disease, Metastatic Cancers, and a number of other age-related diseases.

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In very real terms, Magnesium is like the fountain of youth, and yet 80% of the population is deficient in it.

2: Improve Mood.

Is it any wonder that so many people are depressed and so many are magnesium deficient in today’s population, when you see the two go hand in hand? I’m talking half the population of most industrialized countries. Magnesium is a powerhouse when it comes to brain health.

magnesium improves mood

When you incorporate Magnesium-rich foods, or supplements into your diet,  you will notice an increased level of focus, learning and memory functions. This increase in cognitive plasticity is in direct relation to neurotransmitter release.

 

One such neurotransmitter

 

 

that benefits from this is serotonin.  One of the many functions of serotonin is to help regulate mood. If you have too little Magnesium in the diet and your serotonin levels will drop in conjunction.

The way most anti-depressants work is they boost levels of magnesium. But they also increase your chance of heart attack. The better alternative is to just make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet.

According to Emory University:

 

“Antidepressants’ effects on blood vessels may come from changes in serotonin, a chemical that helps some brain cells communicate but also functions outside the brain… Most of the serotonin in the body is found outside the brain, especially in the intestines… In addition, serotonin is stored by platelets, the cells that promote blood clotting, and is released when they bind to a clot. However, serotonin’s effects on blood vessels are complex and act in multiple ways. It can either constrict or relax blood vessels, depending on whether the vessels are damaged or not.”

3: Activate Muscles and Nerves.

As I mentioned earlier Calcium is the sister of Magnesium. In many countries, we are told to drink our milk, to make sure we have enough calcium for strong teeth and healthy bones. But did you ever hear about the importance of balancing that with Magnesium.

For a moment lets reflect on the function of calcium and magnesium as it relates to our muscles.

Calcium causes your muscles to contract while magnesium causes the muscle to expand. We know this is essential in relation to activating muscle for growth, but imagine what this can do to your heart if there is an imbalance.

One general cause of heart failure is when the heart does not have enough magnesium to balance out the calcium and goes into spasm. that relax and contract caused by the balance of these two is normal activity for the heart. To keep a healthy heart, you want to even out your intake of these two.

Another reason Magnesium is great for activating muscles is that Magnesium levels directly influence testosterone levels. Testosterone levels influence muscle growth and fat loss.

As we discussed earlier, magnesium is essential to learning and memory. Also for transfer of neurotransmitters for the release of hormones that result in a better mood. Even a small decrease in magnesium can result in irritability, depression and mental confusion. Elevate that and we have the foundation of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

4: Improve insulin sensitivity.

For anyone interested in weight loss, you should place close attention to this. Magnesium directly influences your insulin levels which has a massive impact on lean body composition and diabetes.

I’ll be the first to admit that I never really got into or followed the glycemic index in my early years. I knew it was important, but for me it ranked right up there with counting calories.

The good news for you, if you are like me where it comes to absorbing glycemic numbers, is that you can get all that under control with the use of magnesium as glycemic control is effective through the use of magnesium.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? When magnesium is present, your body is more effect in its use of glucose for energy which in turn balances insulin levels.

Which brings me to number 5:

5: Increase in energy.

Anyone with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome will be interested in this section of the article. In fact anyone who is keen on taking pre-workouts, IGF-1 supplements, or even if you just have to have your coffee just to function… this is for YOU.

How our body creates energy is called the KREB cycle. This is what turns your fat into the cellular hamster wheel that gets your body moving otherwise known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

ATP is known as cellular currency. Its how we create chemical energy for cellular metabolism.

Now here comes the game changer. Did you know that  ATP is not stable without Magnesium? That if it were not for magnesium’s role in the production of energy, ATP would fall apart.

Yeah, heavy huh?

Think about this next time you reach for that coffee. Do you absolutely need to chug 5 coffee’s a day? Or do you maybe throw down some spinach and make like Popeye?

SOURCES:

  1. A connection between Magnesium deficiency and aging: new insights from cellular studies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18705534
  2. Sudden cardiac death secondary to antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2365731/
  3. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20352370
  4. Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2917954
  5. Central Nervous System Magnesium deficiency http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2001142
  6. Dietary intake of heavy metals and risk of Parkinson’s disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21497832
  7. Magnesium intake, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes http://najms.net/wp-content/uploads/v06i01p009.pdf
  8. Red blood cell Magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1672392
  9. The role of magnesium in fibromyalgia http://web.mit.edu/london/www/magnesium.html

 

5 Supplements Every Endurance Athlete Should Consider Taking

Non-endurance athletes need a huge amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for everyday living. The number of processes the human body undertakes every second of every day is phenomenal. So, consider the sheer volume of training that you, as an endurance athlete, do. Each session puts additional stress and demand on you and increases the amount of nutrients your body requires to perform its regular functions as well as training and racing.

So where do you start? Go into any pharmacy or health store and you will be greeted by a plethora of vitamins, supplements, tablets, potions and lotions marketed to every ailment possible, the choice can be overwhelming. These are the top 5 supplements I would recommend in addition to a healthy and balanced diet to optimise your potential.Multivitamin

A good multivitamin is at the top of my hit list as a place to start, you can’t out-train a bad diet, that’s for sure, and there’s no substitute for quality nutritious food. However, the CSIRO have proven that our soil is deficient in 9 essential minerals (selenium, zinc, chromium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese molybdenum, vanadium and iodine). So if our soil is deficient in nutrients, how can we expect the food that grows within it to fully nourish us? Add in the extra physical demands of endurance athletes and there’s no question that a multivitamin is needed to fill in the glaring nutritional gaps.

Ubiquinol (activated form of Co-enzyme Q10)

Every cell in our body contains organelles called mitochondria that are like little furnaces responsible for energy production. Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a critical component of the electron transport chain and plays a vital role within mitochondrial respiration. Without going too much into Biology 101, CoQ10 levels have been shown to have a significant effects on the rate of cellular respiration, therefore decreased levels can lead to a lack of energy and decreased stamina.

I started taking Ubiquinol few months ago and I can honestly say that it changed my life. Having done a few Ironman before, I thought it was ‘normal’ to feel tired most of the days, assuming it was due to the increased training and workload. When I said this to the naturopath I work with, he was dismayed that I wasn’t taking it already. Within a week of taking 150mg of Ubiquinol daily I could feel the difference, my energy levels were higher than ever.

Don’t just take my word for it though, a double-blind placebo controlled study found that athletes supplementing CoQ10 measured all indexes of physical endurance and recovery as significantly improved. Another study showed Ubiquinol supplementation enhanced peak power production in trained athletes (elite German cyclists). Increased energy levels and enhanced power output… Don’t ask me why I take Ubiquinol every day, ask yourself why you don’t.

Magnesium

Although it’s a common household name and crucial for so many functions in the body, magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults. Magnesium is required for heart rhythm, neurotransmitter function, calcium absorption, blood pressure regulation and supports stress, muscles and energy production. For athletes it can provide support for muscular aches, pains, cramps and spasms as well as assist in quality night’s sleep.

I would recommend taking 300-600mg per day of elemental magnesium depending on your training load and where you live (as magnesium is spent during perspiration). Be careful to check what form you are buying though, there are a few different salts of magnesium out there. Avoid “magnesium oxide” you will pay for it but won’t absorb it.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably one of the most understated yet valuable supplements. This water soluble vitamin is found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables, so if you eat well it’s likely you get the recommended daily intake for ‘regular human’ but we aren’t regular, are we? Therefore I would recommend any endurance athlete to take 1000mg every night for its antioxidant, healing and immune boosting properties.

Vitamin C is an essential cofactor in the synthesis of all connective and soft tissue, it has been proven to speed up minor wound healing. We know that training causes thousands of micro tears in our muscles and tissues, and when we go to sleep our body heals all these tears, making us stronger and faster. Think of a Vitamin C tablet before bed as your antioxidant superpower, speeding up this healing process whilst also protecting the integrity of your immune system and warding off infection, all whilst you sleep.

Iron

Our bodies can’t produce iron, therefore we must consume sufficient amounts either through our diet, or in the form of supplementation. Food rich in iron include red meat, poultry, seafood, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Adequate intake of iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen around the body. Iron is also involved in neurotransmission, the conversion of blood sugar to energy, and the production of enzymes, therefore it is crucial for athletes to have adequate iron stores for so many reasons.

Stores are depleted through bleeding, urination, defecation, sweating and a process called foot strike hemolysis, where red blood cells are damaged when the foot hits the ground, thus reducing your hemoglobin levels. The additive effects of these depletion causes can often result in low iron stores in athletes, especially females.

Before you go rushing out for an iron supplement to make you into an instant Ironman, start with making a conscience effort to evaluate and if necessary, increase the amount of iron in your diet. Then next time you’re at the doctor, I would recommended asking for a full blood test, especially if you are training for an Ironman or another endurance race involving heavy training load. Having a full picture of your health is important not just to optimise performance but also to ensure longevity in the sport and stay alive and well.

There’s a plethora of vitamins and supplements on the market that could be of potential benefit, but the spectrum of this article is limited, so these are merely the top 5 I would recommend for the general endurance athlete. For more personalised advice, speak to your friendly pharmacist, naturopath or coach about what they would recommend.

In the meantime, fill your plate with all the colours of the rainbow (preferably with fruit and vegetables not a packet of skittles), keep training and being awesome!

Anti-Aging: 4 yoga secrets that will help keep you young

There is a lot of talk nowadays about the anti-aging benefits of yoga, especially as our culture becomes more focused on health and wellness, and ways to look younger.

I personally have practiced yoga for the last decade and it’s become a huge part of my life, especially for anti-aging. I believe that this has helped me with anti-aging and I would have to say yoga is definitely one of the contributing factors in this. Yoga helps to moves energy around the body and make the body feel more alive and energized. It also helps to fight depression and stabilize emotions, increase oxygen intake through our breathing, and therefore, our mind is calmer. Cortisol and stress levels are also reduced when practicing yoga, which helps your body to maintain less body fat and improve blood circulation to all our body parts adding to that glowing skin factor, which contributes to anti-aging.

I believe in the saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it!’ It’s very true in the case of our flexibility, Yoga is great for improving our flexibility and for anti-aging. In an old famous concept in yoga philosophy, a person’s age is determined by the flexibility of their spine and not by the number of years. I think we would all see these examples in people. You can see a 60-year-old that does yoga and keeps active who looks great for their age, they can bend easily and when they walk it seems effortless with ease and grace. Then you can see a 40-year-old who doesn’t do any yoga or keep active and they are struggling to bend or do everyday movements without aches or pains. When they walk they are stiff and it seems like it’s an effort.

I have made a list of four key things I do in yoga that help with anti-aging and more. Read below to find out more.

Contributing factors to why yoga will help you with anti-aging

Balance – The ability to balance involves both our body and our brain, when we practice this we don’t lose our coordination and balance, it improves our agility, which is vital as we get older so we don’t have as many falls, therefore preventing any fractures or broken bones.

Flexibility – Yoga creates flexibility and helps to stop any aches, pains and stiffness within our bodies. For example, simple things like getting up out of a chair or bending to pick something up can be an easy experience and not a painful one. We create space in our bodies and especially in our spine, we lengthen our spines and create space between each vertebrae, by doing this we improve nerve conduction to all organs, so everything is working and flowing better.

Breathing – People underestimate how important the breath is, breath is life. Yoga increases lung capacity, it creates more oxygen to all of the cells which in turns creates more energy and life force in our bodies. We start to intake more air and become more aware of it, this can help us start to breathe properly which can help with digestion and lowering the blood pressure.

Body Awareness – Yoga helps us become more aware of our bodies, our postures improve, our body sensitivity levels are heightened and then we are able to feel the subtle energies moving around it.  We are then mindful to pay attention to anything that doesn’t feel right in the body and correct it before it goes too far.

In my own experiences through yoga over the 10 years I have been practicing it has helped me so much, my posture has improved immensely. When I was at school I was told I had scoliosis, now I always remember to bring my shoulder blades down and open my chest it makes such a big difference not only in the way I look but the way I feel. It also helps to reduce pain in the shoulders and neck.

Emotionally, I feel more balanced and I seem to handle what life throws at me a lot better than I use to as the breathing, chanting and meditation aspects of yoga have made me feel calmer and at peace with myself, letting go of some of the unhealthy habits I once had in my life. As I have become more aware of my body my diet has improved immensely, you realize you just want to treat your body with love and respect and not put garbage in it. You start to listen to your body more and know what is right for it. Personally I have found yoga a very healing practice and because of everyone’s past experiences, we all have something we need to heal in our own lives because we are not perfect and yoga is so great for doing that.

With yoga though there is no one-day policy benefit, you need to be patient and yes yoga brings patience too.  If you practice at least 3 times a week you will really start to see those anti-aging benefits that yoga delivers. Not only will you see it but other people will start to see it. Yoga really does help transform people’s lives for the better, as a teacher I get to see this on a regular basis, I see a wonderful change in people’s lives as they make yoga a part of their life. Yoga really isn’t just a practice it’s a way of life. It helps with anti-aging, stress, balance, and so much more.

Try it, once you do, you’ll never look back, especially with the anti-aging benefits.

5 practice tips for sleeping with scoliosis